Ambrose and the Hardys beat The Miz and Sheasaro: Miz TV opens the show this week with Sheamus and Cesaro as guests. All three men complain about their respective babyface opponents at Extreme Rules this Sunday. Ambrose eventually interrupts the whine-fest. Miz says that it’s three-on-one, but Ambrose has a surprise as the Hardys’ music plays. The Hardys and Ambrose charge the ring together and clear it. This leads to a decent six-man tag match, despite a couple botches, that ends with a Swanton Bomb for the victory. Miz and Ambrose were good enough on the mic to carry the talking segment, which was simply a variation on the multi-man talky opening. The combination of the both these teams worked really well to the point that either team could be part of a stable. Ambrose with the Hardys makes sense, and Cesaro/Sheamus would be great heel friends for the coward Miz. This was a good build for these matches this coming weekend.
Who injured Enzo investigation: Kurt Angle is apparently running an “investigation” into who attacked and injured Enzo last week. The Revival are interviewed after being absent for six weeks. They mentioned Dash’s injury and tried to claim they haven’t been around for weeks, but video footage showed they were at RAW last week. They quickly change their story and try to cover for themselves. Later in the show, Corey Graves insinuated Big Cass could have attacked Enzo. Cass came out to confront Graves who apologized. Later in the show, Enzo is attacked again. Cass tells Kurt Angle it had to be The Revival, but Angle says that he saw them leave, but Cass doesn’t buy it. This is a interesting angle in the sense that it tells an engaging story throughout the show. It sells Cass as a tough and loyal friend and The Revival as a threat, even if cowardly.
Joe steals a victory over Balor and Bray: This was definitely the match of the show. It’s surprising the three men put themselves out there like that considering they are all in the main event on Sunday night. Balor showed a slightly more extensive moveset and really shined as the babyface against the odds. The crowd was pretty dead all night, but they really came alive for this. Balor hit the Coup de Grace on Bray and would have picked up the win, but Joe stuck back in the ring to brutally throw Finn into the ring post and pin Bray. This kept both Finn and Joe looking strong and built anticipation for match on Sunday.
Rich Swann and Sasha fend off Noam Dar and Alicia Fox: Rich Swann was set to take on Noam Dar who had Alicia Fox with him. Sasha Banks came out with Swann to even the odds. It helped because Alicia tried to interfere, but Sasha prevented it. It allowed Swann to pick up the victory. It was announced there will be a mixed tag match between these four at Extreme Rules this weekend now. Swann and Sasha danced after the victory. The cruiserweights received no reaction in this match. The women actually got more, so this mixed tag match is a good idea. Incorporating the cruiserweights more into the main roster is necessary. In addition to that, Sasha always seems more likable for some reason when she is with men. The same happened with Enzo last year, so this might help her struggles.
Goldust and R-Truth promos: Goldust and R-Truth both cut promos against each other, and it’s better than anything either have done in the past year. This feels personal to both men, and they were more intimate and focused promos about beating the other. This is more “old school” at this point, but it’s still as effective as it ever once.
Neville looks vulnerable going into Extreme Rules: Austin Aries and Jack Gallagher took on Neville and TJP in a tag match. They put on a decent enough match given the time, and it ended with Aries getting Neville in The Last Chancery…and Neville tapped for his first pin or submission since joining the cruiserweight division. This is an excellent tactic to make Neville look as if he’s beatable leading into their submission match this Sunday. It’s a good, class build to make the babyface look strong going in.
Roman Reigns beats Seth Rollins: Both men cut overly-scripted but effective promos earlier in the show before this pretty solid match. Reigns won with a Spear. Reigns is going in looking like the favorite right now after this victory and the one against Finn the other week. However, Finn is also looking strong as is Samoa Joe. They’ve set this up nicely for really any of these wrestlers to win the match Sunday, which is the most important thing.
Elias Samson squash match: Elias came out to sing a song before the match again. There was no heat for this this week unlike last. Some fans even had their phones turned on like lighters which is just terrible. Fans will ruin this just like they have Bray’s entrance. The match was a squash match against a local kid, and Samson looked fine, but the logic of giving him a squash after debuting him against the Intercontinental Champion is questionable at best. It’s already been established he’s at a higher level.
Bayley – This is Your Life segment: Alexa Bliss came out and did a “This is Your Life” segment about Bayley. She showed Bayley’s childhood toys and interviewed a grade school teacher, her best friend in high school, and her ex-boyfriend with a running joke that she is overly attached to her father and a child still. The crowd reacted to this negatively and not in a good way. There was definite go away heat with boos and “boring” and “Delete” chants.
Titus picks up a cheap win over Kalisto: Titus O’ Neil decided this week to show Apollo Crews how to beat Kalisto after Apollo lost last week. Titus won quickly after pulling the tights. Apollo questioned the victory but didn’t break with Titus. This story didn’t really move forward much and still seems like it’s a way to build to Apollo/Titus, which can’t have any interest.
The Final Analysis: There isn’t much to complain about this week except the awful crowd and Bliss segment. It was a good go home show that built up anticipation and raised questions that hopefully will be answered Sunday or next week on Raw, including a mysterious text Corey Graves received that he showed to Kurt Angle who said it could ruin everything. If every week were like this – not featuring anyone too much, short, but sweet promos, good in-ring action, and show long storytelling, it would be a pleasure to watch. Most of the booking decision were simple but quite effective to build excitement.